Two words: baby watermelon. Okay, so these adorable tiny green oval globes aren’t actually red and sweet on the inside. They’re Mexican sour gherkins, which are essentially honorary cucumbers. However, these cute little sour gherkins are often referred to as “mini watermelons” or “cucamelons,” and they look just like watermelons on the outside.
When I found these gherkins at the farmer’s market, I immediately thought of the scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby Houseman carries the huge watermelon. In this scene, Baby meets Johnny Castle, the dance instructor at the camp she and her family are staying at for the summer. During a “no guests allowed” dance party Baby tells Johnny that she was let in because “I carried a watermelon.” A hilariously awkward yet sweet meet-cute, and since that scene watermelons will always remind me of Dirty Dancing. And so even though these aren’t real watermelon, per se, they are baby “watermelon” that Baby will forever be associated with in my mind.
If you haven’t already seen Dirty Dancing, stop reading this post and go watch. In the movie, Frances “Baby” Houseman and her family spend the summer at a Catskills resort. At the resort Baby meets Johnny Castle. She’s intrigued by him and his dance partner, as Baby’s lack of dancing skills is quite apparent. When a situation arises that causes Johnny’s dance partner to take a hiatus from dancing, Baby fills in. The dancing and chemistry between Baby and Johnny really make the movie the classic that it is.
Baby’s Baby Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Toast is simple to put together and it is incredibly refreshing when made with quality ingredients. It’s amazing what in-season tomatoes taste like. Just cut up the tomatoes and gherkins, mix with basil, olive oil, and salt, and spread onto warm toasted sourdough bread. Gherkins add the right amount of crunch to this quick snack – they contrast the juicy softness of the tomatoes with a slightly bitter snap. This is the perfect snack to beat the heat, and the cucamelons add a unique twist.
Baby's Baby Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Toast
1. 14 Mexican sour gherkins
2. 10 cherry tomatoes
3. 3-4 heirloom tomatoes
4. 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
5. Sea salt
6. 15 small basil leaves
7. 6-8 slices of toasted sourdough bread
1. Halve and slice the gherkins, cherry tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes.
2. In a bowl, toss the gherkins and tomatoes with olive oil, sea salt, and basil.
3. Top each toasted bread slice with the tossed gherkins and tomatoes.
© A Dash of Cinema
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Food Images by Lauren Jessen, Film Clip from Dirty Dancing